Coleman On Everton Starting Spot Battle

Everton captain Seamus Coleman is hoping his committed training ground performances bank him a starting spot in this month's Merseyside derby – and insists a meeting with Liverpool represents the ideal way to reignite the Blues' campaign.

Coleman was dislodged from his customary right-back berth when Djibril Sidibe seized his opportunity to feature after a red card for the Irishman at Burnley in October.

The 31-year-old regained his place in time for Carlo Ancelotti’s first match as manager – the reverse fixture with Burnley on Boxing Day – and in the intervening period has engaged in a tug-of-war with Frenchman Sidibe for the position on the right of Everton's defence.

Ancelotti oversaw only 11 Premier League games before football was suspended in March, claiming 18 points to keep Everton in contention for European qualification.

Everton have nine matches remaining, beginning with Liverpool behind closed doors on 21 June. And Coleman is eager to get the nod for a 15th derby appearance – and ninth at Goodison Park.

“It wouldn’t be a case of knocking down the manager’s door to get in the team, you show that [you deserve to play] in how you apply yourself on the training pitch,” said Coleman.

“I started the season quite well but had a tricky week when I got sent off at Burnley, then was sent off playing for my country [in Switzerland five days later].


“Sidibe came in after the Burnley game and did really well, he was setting up some great goals. That is part of football.

“I got my head down and kept going and got back in the team but had an injury just before the break and missed the Chelsea game (Everton's final match before lockdown).

“Competition for places is important and I look in the mirror and know myself if I have not been at it.

“I am ready to go if selected in the next game and, hopefully, that will be the case.

“It is a great game to come back to and a great game for the Premier League, it will be exciting viewing for people.

“We have not got our fans there and that will take a while to get used to but you are still playing against your rivals.

“They have had the upper hand over us of late, there is no escaping that, so I can talk about the game and our plans but we have to do it on the day.

“It is going to be a great battle.

“They are a top-class team and we have to make sure we are ready.”


Coleman and his teammates returned to training on 20 May – more than two months after all Club premises were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic – and one week later were granted permission to start limited contact training.

The intensity of sessions has been dialled up in the past fortnight as Everton try to overcome time constraints to prepare for nine matches in five weeks.

This stretch of training has nevertheless afforded Ancelotti a concentrated period to work with his players for the first time since taking over following Duncan Ferguson’s highly-charged caretaker reign.

“Duncan’s great, he deserves so much credit for coming in and getting the lads going,” said Coleman.

“I was delighted for him. Everton is his club and he is an amazing guy.

“He did an amazing job and gave the new manager a good platform.

“Regardless of who the manager is I am a player who plays for the Club and trains hard every day and that’s how I have got so far at Everton.

“For the Club and our fan base to have a manager like Carlo is exciting.

“It is not going to happen overnight. He is going to want to implement his own style.

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03:17

HOW EVERTON'S MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME HAS SAVED LIVES

Blues skipper Seamus Coleman attends Imagine Your Goals event.


“We are very fortunate to have him and when he speaks on the training ground, you know he has a presence and knows what he is talking about.

“We are all eager to impress him and learn from him any way we can.

Seamus Coleman
We are all eager to impress Carlo and learn from him any way we can.


“We have a top-class manager and want to kick on.”

Ancelotti and Coleman were both prominent in Everton’s Blue Family campaign, launched to maintain contact with supporters and provide crucial support and assistance to the most vulnerable and at-risk members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Donations to the Blue Family via the recent Season Ticket and Lounge Member refund process totalled close to £400,000, prompting majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and Chairman Bill Kenwright to unite and match that figure, lifting the sum raised to around £800,000.

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05:01

FINNIGAN AND MORGAN DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH DURING LOCKDOWN

Everton stars speak to evertontv's Sarah Halpin.


“Everton is a family club and we always want to help the community any way we can,” said Coleman.

“The Club got in touch with the players asking us to help as much as we could, calling elderly fans, for example. We have done that and had a nice chat.

“We were making sure everyone was keeping well in these strange times.

“We pride ourselves on being a good family club and good community club.

"Now we are looking forward to getting back to playing.

"It’s been a long break for everyone, the players and fans have missed football and I can't wait to get going."